Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Tidal Hudson River Regulations

Statewide Angling Regulations apply except as listed below:

Species Location Open Season Minimum Length Daily Limit
American Eel From the Battery to the Troy Dam and all tributaries upstream to the first barrier impassable by fish All year Eels between 9 and 14 inches may be possessed for bait. No eels may be possessed for food. 25
Black Bass (Largemouth and Smallmouth) Hudson River from the Troy Dam downstream and all tributaries in this section to the first barrier impassable by fish Third Sat in June through Nov 30 15" 5
Note: It is illegal to fish for (including catch & release) largemouth bass and smallmouth bass during
the closed season of Dec 1 through the Friday preceding the third Sat in June.
Striped Bass* Hudson River and its tributaries north of the George Washington Bridge Slot size: 18" - 28"
(not less than 18" nor greater than 28")
1
American Shad Fishing for or possessing American Shad on the Hudson River or in the marine district is prohibited.
Hickory Shad Hudson River and tributaries north of Mario M. Cuomo Bridge Aug 1 through Nov 30 Any Size 5

* Total Length is the longest straight line measurement from the tip of the snout, with the mouth closed, to the longest lobe of the tail, with the lobes squeezed together, and the fish laid flat on the measuring device.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has mandated that circle hooks be used when recreationally fishing for striped bass using bait starting January 1, 2021. NY Regulations are currently being developed to comply with Interstate Fishery Management Plan changes. Up to date regulations can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7917.html or (845) 256-3009

Hudson River Anadromous River Herring** Regulations
Location Open Season Minimum Length Daily Possession Limit Manner of Taking
Hudson River Tributaries and Embayments, including Mohawk River (see Saratoga County Mohawk River exception on page 27). March 15 through June 15 None 10 per angler, OR a maximum boat limit of 50 per day for a group of boat anglers, whichever is lower
Angling only
Main stem of the Hudson River from Lock 1 near Waterford, NY south to the George Washington Bridge March 15 through June 15 None 10 per angler, OR a maximum boat limit of 50 per day for a group of boat anglers, whichever is lower
Angling or by personal use nets

* Anadromous river herring are alewife, "Alosa pseudoharengus," and blueback herring, "Alosa aestivalis."

Taking of anadromous river herring with personal use nets

1- No person shall take anadromous river herring with a net within Hudson River tributaries and embayments. Prior to entering a Hudson River tributary or embayment, all personal use nets must be stowed in a secured container on deck or in a container below deck.

2- No person shall take anadromous river herring from the Hudson River:

  • with more than one net when taking with a scap or dip net;
  • with a dip net exceeding 14 inches in diameter if it is round form or exceeding 13 inches by 13 inches if it is square form;
  • with a scap or lift net exceeding 16 square feet;
  • with a seine net exceeding 36 square feet; or
  • with a cast net exceeding 10 feet in diameter.

License requirements

Anglers 16 years of age and older who desire to fish in the marine and coastal district of New York, or for migratory marine species in all waters of the state, including the Hudson River, must enroll in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry. Anglers targeting solely freshwater species such as largemouth and smallmouth bass on the Hudson River require only a "freshwater" fishing license.

Circle Hook Recommendation

If you plan to use natural baits for striped bass, please use non-offset circle hooks. Circle hooks increase the percentage of fish that are hooked in the mouth, decreasing hooking mortality in released fish. If you plan on practicing catch-and-release fishing, you should only use circle hooks for natural baits.